Manchester United pair David de Gea and Chris Smalling have spoken of their “pride” after being honoured at the club’s end of season awards.
De Gea was named Player of the Year by the club’s supporters for a third successive season, while Smalling scooped the Players’ Player of the Year gong.
Goalkeeper De Gea has been in superb form for the Red Devils this season and has pulled off some fine saves to earn United some crucial points throughout their campaign.
The Spaniard, who became the first United player to win the award three times in a row, told the club’s official website: “It’s an honour to receive this award again. I want to say thank you to everyone – we have some of the best fans in the world.”
The 25-year-old was close to joining Real Madrid in the summer before the deal collapsed on transfer deadline day and manager Van Gaal is delighted De Gea stayed at the club.
“Everyone knows he was invited to Madrid’ said the United boss. His girlfriend is living in Madrid, his parents, Spanish, Real Madrid is a great club but he is still here and as a manager I am so happy he is here and he deserves to win this title.”
Defender Smalling was named Players’ Players of the Year after an impressive season in the heart of the United defence.
The defender told the club’s official website: “It’s a massive honour to win this award, as voted by the players. Some big names have won this, so to add my name to that list is a huge honour.”
Anthony Martial won the award for Goal of the Season for his effort against Liverpool in September – his first strike for the club having joined in the summer from Monaco.
Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford scooped the Under 18s Player of the Year award after bursting onto the scene this season with a debut goal against Midtjylland in the Europa League. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson took the gong for Under 21s.